Sunday, August 21, 2016

A little more of French Canada ...

We stayed at a KOA campground in the village of Bromont which is about 40 kilometers east of Montreal.  Like any large eastern city, we figured that driving in the city was going to be more of a headache than a pleasure so we asked about the possibility of taking public transportation into the city and found that leaving the driving to someone else was going to a lot easier than we anticipated.

In the old historic district of Montreal many of the 19th century buildings still stand and show their European influences. This is the corner of the Hotel Place d' Armes.

A monument to the founder of Montreal, Paul de Chomedey.
Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal ...
Montreal has four basilicas which are probably the most popular of all the tourist attractions in the city.  We toured two of them: Notre-Dame and St. Joseph's Oratory.
Basilique Notre-Dame de Montreal is located on the square in the old historic district. There has been a church dedicated to the Holy Name of Mary on this spot since 1672.  It served as the first cathedral of the Diocese of Montreal.  The current building was begun in 1824 and completed in 1843.  The church is Gothic Revival style.

As. you can see, we were not the only tourists to view the Notre-Dame.  Thousands of tourists from all over the world come everyday to view this beautiful place of worship. 

Tour guides educate groups of tourists and tell of the old church.  Other people come and sit and soak up the peacefulness of the place.  Still others are moved to pray and meditate.



I found the pulpit interesting.  It is located half way down the nave.  This was a good idea since this is a very large church and in the 19th century preachers did not have the aid of amplified equipment in order to be heard. It is a marvelous piece of carpentry and architectural design.

I thought it unique also that the church was illuminated with natural light via rose window skylights.

L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont Royal
The Basilica of Saint Joseph is the largest of the churches where the pope can say Mass.  It is also the story of a frail, little brother of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, Brother Andre who became a saint.

Brother Andre built the first church in 1907 on the slope of Mount Royal and construction of the main church was begun in 1924 and finally completed in 1967.

The basilica is dedicated to Saint Joseph, to whom Brother André credited all his reported miracles. These were mostly related to some kind of healing power, and many pilgrims (handicapped, blind, ill, etc.) poured into his Basilica, including numerous non-Catholics. Thousands of crutches  and canes from those who came to the basilica and were purportedly healed and displayed on a wall. Pope John Paul II deemed the miracles to be authentic and beatified Brother André in 1982. In October 2010 Pope Benedict XVI canonized the saint.

The exterior of the Basilica of Saint Joseph is traditional classical.

The center steps are reserved for people who climb the more than 200 steps on their knees, praying at each step. Hope and faith are such strong virtues.

The interior is much more contemporary with strong Art Nouveau and Modernist influences.  The massive size is amplified in the heavy stone construction that conveys a feeling of permanence and eternalness. 


The main altar

The massive statuary in the transept with folding chairs near by gives you some idea to the scale of this church. 

The nave looking from the main altar into the choir and organ loft.

 The chapel of the Blessed Sacrament is behind the main altar.

One of the Stations of the Cross

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